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Labour will extend Kermadec Islands marine reserve

Conservation Spokesperson

2 November 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT
Labour will extend Kermadec Islands marine reserve

Labour today announced its plan to extend the marine reserve surrounding the Kermadec Islands by over 200 miles, creating one of the first Exclusive Economic Zone marine reserves to support an entire eco-system,” says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.

“With Labour’s smart and innovative environmental leadership these pristine islands can be a world class sanctuary and a model for supporting marine ecosystems internationally,” Ruth Dyson said.

The Kermadec Islands, to the north of New Zealand, are renowned internationally for their underwater volcanoes and deep ocean trenches.

“Labour wants to ensure the Kermadecs, which boast remarkable marine biodiversity, including giant squid, the deep diving sperm whale, and numerous seabirds, are well-protected.

“The Kermadec marine region is one of the most diverse and stunning in the world. The proposal for the Islands themselves to have world heritage status is full-heartedly supported by Labour.

“Currently, the marine reserve protects some of the marine habitats of the area out to the existing territorial sea boundary. But a much higher level of protection in the Exclusive Economic Zone around the Kermadecs is needed.

“This, like many other environmental opportunities, has been overlooked by National.

“Labour recognises the value of protecting and expanding our marine reserves. We amended legislation by a special Act in Parliament in 2005 to create eight marine reserves in Fiordland and will do the same for the Kermadecs.

“Labour takes conservation seriously. Our full policy will be announced in the coming weeks,” Ruth Dyson said.


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